While President Rodrigo Duterte slammed the United Nations, European Union, and the United States, he said that he will likely be visiting China more often.
“You will see me more often in China,” the President said in his speech on Thursday, September 22, at a new Misamis Oriental power plant.
Rappler’s sources said that Duterte might be visiting China before October ends. The Philippine president said that during his visit, he will demand that the Chinese give back the Filipinos’ rights to fish in the West Philippine Sea and to earn a living.
Duterte also brought up the possibility of sharing the gas resources in the West Philippine Sea, just like what he said during the campaign.
“Then, whatever gas, mayroon doon agreement between China and the Philippines during the time of [Gloria Arroyo]. It was supposed to be, actually it was just legalese, diplomatic really, towards the joint venture,” he said.
Rappler then wrote that Arroyo entered into an agreement with China and China called the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU). Under this agreement, all three countries agreed to conduct joint gas explorations at the South China Sea with the help of their national oil corporations. However, that deal is considered void because it is unconstitutional.
As for The Hague ruling that was awarded to the Philippines, Duterte said that he will discuss the decision with China, without being aggressive, or as he said, “Pero hindi yung magtatapang-tapangan tayo.”
Duterte is eyeing economic ties with China, hence the need to maintain good will with the Chinese. He even cited how Chinese nationals were among the investors of the power plant he was then visiting.
He also said that he does not count on the United States “to die” for the Philippines.
Duterte earlier said that China’s claims over a large portion of the South China Sea were done in “good faith because of their historical basis.
Netizens have noticed how Duterte has the tendency to lean towards China while slamming the United States, which has been a long-time ally of the Philippines. One netizen even accused Duterte of trying to “appease” China by attacking the US, but concluded that doing so would only lead to more losses for the Philippines.